Istanbul: In a retrial on Wednesday, an Istanbul court handed down an 8,658-year jail term to a Muslim televangelist who surrounded himself with women wearing minimal clothing and whom he referred to as ‘kittens’. Adnan Oktar hosted television shows where he promoted creationism and conservative principles while surrounded by ladies who were covered in cosmetics and wearing very little clothing.
The 66-year-old was given a 1,075-year sentence last year for crimes such as sexual assault, sexual abuse of minors, fraud, and attempted espionage in politics and the military. However, an upper court overturned that decision. Oktar was found guilty of several offenses, including sexual abuse and depriving a person of their liberty, and the Istanbul High Criminal Court sentenced him to 8,658 years in prison, according to the Anadolu news agency. According to the agency, the court also gave each of the other 10 suspects a sentence of 8,658 years in prison.
Oktar, who is considered to be the head of a cult by his detractors, rose to fame for his shows on the internet A9 television station and was frequently criticised by Turkey’s religious authorities. In the course of a police investigation into financial crimes as part of a larger crackdown on his organisation, he was detained in Istanbul in 2018.